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How Hackers Changed The World: We Are Legion: Storyville

Storyville: How Hackers Changed the World: We Are Legion

Wed Feb 20, 10.30-11.30pm, BBC4

By Chris Waywell

‘It felt like you were making a difference and you didn’t even have to leave your home.’ It would be difficult to come up with a neater summation of the positives and negatives of ‘hacktivism’ – cyber protest – than this comment from one interviewee in this frustrating look at the rise of the ‘Anonymous’ movement.

Frustrating, because there’s material for about four separate documentaries packed into this hour, yet a good half of it is devoted to yawnsome knob-gazing from Beavis and Butt-Head types sitting indoors with the curtains drawn. WikiLeaks, the PayPal attacks, the nascent Occupy movement, the murky world of commercial counter-cyber-terrorism: all merit far more analysis than they’re accorded here.

The overall impression is that the political and ethical motivation of many of those involved struggles to best their overweening self-regard. As one of the commentators observes, it’s all about what happens next.


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